07:47 PM

Sec. Zinke Revokes FWS Ban on Lead Ammunition and Fishing Tackle

Contact: Jared Saylor, 202-772-3255; jsaylor@defenders.org 
WASHINGTON (March 3, 2017) – The following statement is from Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, regarding Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s action yesterday revoking U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director’s Order 219, which called for the FWS to expand use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle on national wildlife refuges and in certain other types of hunting and fishing regulated by the FWS:
“It is terribly unfortunate that among the first actions of Secretary Zinke in assuming stewardship of the Department of the Interior was his peremptory revocation of an order that simply sought to protect the wildlife under his care from lead poisoning. While the issuance of the Director’s order triggered complaints from sportsmen’s groups regarding lack of consultation, the fact is that the use of lead ammunition is simply unacceptable in this day and age, when there are readily available alternatives on the market and we know the incredible harm that lead poses to people and to wildlife. Lead ammunition and fishing tackle poison and kill many millions of birds and other animals each year, and risk contamination of our waterways and drinking water.
“The Service’s decision to phase out over time the use of lead shot and tackle thus followed directly from its commitment to preserve and protect species within the national wildlife refuge system. Unfortunately, in hastily revoking this order, the Secretary gave no sign that he embraces the same commitment to conservation. As chief steward of the nation’s natural resources, its public lands and wildlife, his first step is immensely disappointing.”
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.